A Critique of Evangelical Theology

In a previous post I mentioned that NT scholar Ben Witherington had written a book evaluating the major evangelical theological traditions. Professor Witherington has elaborated on the argument he makes in his book at his blog:

In my recent book The Problem with Evangelical Theology I have tried to point out that we have come a long way since Luther, Calvin, and Wesley (to mention but three) and not necessarily in a good direction. Biblical illiteracy is pretty rampant even in Evangelical circles and things like experience, tradition, or even reason often seem to be allowed to trump the authority of Scripture or become the de facto final authority in deciding one issue or another.

The core problem in evangelical theology according to Witherington is its failure to give priority to context over the desire to exonerate one's own theological predispositions:

I am talking of course about the strip mining of Biblical texts--denuding them of their contexts and storied world in which they operate, and then transferring them into one's 'system'.

Charting a course back to context-based theological inquiry may be the key to more unity among the various Protestant sects. Witherington believes that the disunity and vehement disagreement between Protestant sects is a poor witness to our common and presumably core beliefs.

I plan to read the book and keep followinging Witherington's post. He already has some feedback and is participating in the Comments section.


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